IFSJ Exclusive: Handheld gas detection with Blackline Safety

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Simon Rich, Sales Director for Europe at Blackline Safety Europe talks portable gas detection

Can you tell me about your background in the safety sector?

I have been working in industrial safety and gas detection sales for over 25 years and joined as one of the founding team members of Blackline Safety Europe following roles with Honeywell, Drager and ICI Chemicals. I oversee the entire sales function for Europe, from business development to customer support and channel management. Essentially, my role is to ensure Blackline Safety continues its international growth trajectory while maintaining the agility and care needed to support our customers and people at a local level.

Can you tell me about Blackline Safety: who you are and your place in the Fire and Safety market?

Blackline Safety is a global connected safety technology leader. We are headquartered in Calgary, with offices in Colchester, Lille, Houston and Dubai, we design and manufacture an award-winning range of gas detectors, area monitors and lone worker devices. Our ultimate goal is to ensure every worker returns home safely, every day, and connectivity is at the heart of this. Unique to Blackline, every product we produce has integrated direct-to-cloud connectivity. Couple that with our safety software, data analytics, reporting and optional 24/7 monitoring, and you have a scalable solution that can adapt quickly for any application in any organisation.

When an incident occurs we know that the speed of the response is critical. Because all Blackline Safety devices work straight out of the box and automatically stream data in real-time using integrated cellular connectivity, response teams are able to focus on the task at hand rather than dealing with a long and complex equipment deployment. There is no need for additional IT infrastructure or MESH networks – simply drop-and-go.

Emergency responses in the fire and safety industry are unpredictable and Blackline’s ATEX-certified technology is designed to be durable. All our devices are built for extremes and to function even in the toughest conditions, GPS-enabled location technology means you get real-time visibility of the conditions faced by each responder.

What is the BS 8484:2022 – why was it developed and what does it do?

Employers are legally obliged to manage any health and safety risks before their employees can work alone. Using a lone worker monitor enables you to ensure your workers’ safety.

BS 8484:2022 defines the industry-leading code of practice for lone worker equipment and monitoring services in the UK. The standard provides lone worker product and service providers with a code of practice that allows the despatch of a police Level 1 response, offering the highest level of emergency response and bypassing the central 999 system to make the process as efficient as possible.

Blackline Safety Europe is among the first businesses in the UK to be accredited to the new upgraded BS8484:2022 standard. Blackline’s G7c personal wearable is the world’s first connected gas detector and lone worker safety monitor certified to the newly upgraded BS 8484:2022, which is the standard that underpins the UK’s lone worker safety leadership.

How does it improve upon what came before it?

BS 8484:2022 is the British industry standard for providers of lone working safety services. Although it is not a legal requirement, BS8484 accreditation acts as a mark of quality for our product and proves to our consumers that Blackline Safety Europe has met the UK government’s strict standards.

BS8484:2016 was upgraded to BS8484:2022 to reflect changing technologies, and to improve safety. Included in the changes introduced in BS8484:2022 were: an acknowledgement that those working in pairs or small groups may be seen as “at risk” and so may benefit from the use of a lone worker system. There was also an acknowledgement that those working from home should be seen as “lone workers” and could benefit from using a lone working system.

In addition, there was new wording that accepts that calls with lone workers may be made via data, rather than the “traditional” call network. Finally, a new ruling states that to be BS8484 compliant, staff involved in delivering lone working services are to be screened in accordance with BS7858 (the UK standard for vetting of people employed in the security sector).

What special features does it have?

The standard provides lone worker product and service providers with a code of practice that allows the despatch of a police Level 1 response, offering the highest level of emergency response and bypassing the central 999 system to make the process as efficient as possible.

Where does G7c fit into Blackline Safety’s product portfolio?

Blackline’s G7c is an all-in-one cloud-connected monitoring solution integrating 4G connectivity and industry-first capabilities, from efficient and reliable lone worker monitoring to industry-leading multi-gas detection. We ensure no call for help goes unanswered by connecting workers directly with live monitoring personnel, from wherever they are working.

Is there anything else Blackline Safety has been working on recently?

We recently partnered with Vlahi Systems to extend our offering by providing cloud-hosted, sensor driven gas plume modelling. Vlahi are integrating the real-time, location-enabled data from Blackline’s G7 EXO portable area gas monitors into their web- and smartphone-based CERES plume modelling software — an ideal solution for managing chemical release and gas cloud scenarios that can harm personnel and surrounding communities, or trigger fires or explosions.

Using G7 EXO gas readings, CERES is able to automate and deliver the most accurate, up-to-date mapping of a gas plume, based on real-world conditions, to assist emergency personnel in their response.

This article was originally published in the January edition of IFSJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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